With WWDC 2009 right around the corner, there is excitement in the air. The iPhone OS 3.0 software and a highly possible next generation iPhone are right around the corner. Now what does this have to with the Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Headset? The answer to that question is simple - A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile). Finally A2DP is coming to an iPhone near you... unless you still plan on keeping that first generation iPhone. (Sadly, for A2DP, you guys will need to upgrade to a current 3G model or the soon-to-be-announced next generation hardware.)
So, iPhone 3G owners, what better way to get a jump on things than by picking up the Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Headset?! It is available in TiPb's sibling store WMExperts for a cool $69.95. After the break, a full review!
The Voyager 855 consists of two pieces: a headset unit, which is where you will find all of your controls, and the detachable earpiece, which is what you will use to turn the 855 into a stereo headset - pretty crafty indeed.
The headset is sleek and stylish with its black coating with silver trimmed accents. The mic boom slides out to bring the microphone closer to your mouth. That not only makes it easier for the person with whom you are speaking to hear you, it's also a way to answer and end calls - more on that a bit later.
Next up is it's size. The Voyager tips the scales at mear .53 ounce (11 Grams) so it is surprisingly on the lighter side compared to other headsets available. It measures 2.25 inches by 0.5 inch by 0.6 inch. So again, not large by any means unless you have the boom extended. With the boom, look to add another inch or so to it's length. To get a better grasp on it's size below you will can see the Voyager next to the Jawbone 2 and Apple's no longer available headset.
Now if you are looking to get in on the stereo bluetooth action you will need the separate stereo plug-in cable with earpiece. It looks just like a regular earbud attached to an ear loop. To get stereo bluetooth you simply need to attach the ear loop with earpiece to the main headset. The stereo setup is meant to be worn with the cable resting behind your neck.
Also included in the box: ear loop stabilizer (2 sizes), sound isolating ear buds, micro USB charger, lanyard, and carrying case.
I've been using the Voyager 855 for about a week now and I will admit the sound quality is pretty good compared to other headsets I have used in the past. While the headset is not as clear as -- or does not boast noise cancelation like the Jawbone -- it does contain AudioIQ (opens in new tab), which is simply a fancy name for digital signal processing or DSP. Without noise cancelation, loud conditions did create a bit of background noise but people I spoke with did not have any problems hearing me or vice versa. So overall the AudioIQ does it's job well. To make your voice heard even better you can also slide the boom down closer to your mouth. The boom can also be used to answer and end calls simply by sliding it out or in respectively.
The added bonus of the Voyager 855 is it's ability to turn into a stereo bluetooth headset by simply adding the stereo plug-in cable. The sound quality for listening to music was pretty decent as well. I have no complaints in that department.
The big question I always have when it comes to bluetooth headset is how comfortable is it to wear and how is the battery life? This headset comes with three earbud pairs in different sizes, allowing you to pick and choose the most comfortable fit for you. You can wear the headset with or without the included earloop, on either your left or right ear. So with that said, you should not have any issues finding the right combination that will comfortably fit your needs. Battery life was excellent. Plantronics claims 7 hours of talk time, 6 hours of listening time, and 160 hours of standby time. I've put it through the ringer this week and have had to charge it two times within the week with a good amount of usage.
The Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Headset, which is available in the WMExperts store for $69.95 is a fantastic deal. Not only will you be able to take full advantage of the upcoming 3.0's A2DP feature you get a very good overall bluetooth stereo headset.
- Low price for what you get
- Stereo Bluetooth
- Fits comfortably
- Great battery life
- No noise cancelation
- Micro USB charger
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Thanks for reviewing this
'No noise cancellation' is mentioned as a 'con'. The microphone has great noise cancellation, the reviewer should hop on over to the product page and look at the features. It does an excellent job of filtering out background noise when I'm talking on the phone with it.
@LeQuang, there are 3 different ear buds which fits any individual. It was a matter of preference with you. I have Shure's SLC4 ($175 which I got for $75) and I prefer the earbuds on the Plantronics than the Shures.
Overall, I am rather impressed with the quality/audio.
I've wanted this headset for a while, but I don't want to buy it if it is not going to work.
Can anyone who owns both this headset and an iphone verify that it absolutely does work?
I bought this a couple days ago from Buy.com for about $32.
It paired up quickly!
I used the headset to listen to music. Sound quality is good!. Using the black earbuds gave the sound quality more of a bass boost IMHO. Nit pickers will probably not like it though.
The cons the reviewer mentioned, it does noise cancellation fine. And does a micro usb charger really deserve a Con?
As far as my Cons go, the second ear piece that is attached to an earloop. I wish they would make it detachable so another earloop can be attached to it. I found that the one attached to it doesn't fit to well with my ear.
I almost forgot!
It's awesome to use the ear piece to control the iPod. I really really like that!!
So far i'm the 855.
It's nice to have my iPhone hidden away in my pocket while listening to the iPod or Chatting away on a phone call! :)
The 855 fits my ears great. They've worked flawlessly & completely with the Motorola Q9.
With the 3G S the stereo sounds great (the Moto S9's are better imho), and the phone answer button is working. I can't get Play, Pause, or Tracks to work. Has anyone else??? Are others getting at least Play & Pause to work?
Having to turn the screen on the 3G S & press play or pause is a real pain (and my battery life so far is rather dismall).
When running with WiFi turned on in the Settings = constant stuttering with audio when the screen goes to sleep. Stuttering is so bad, you cannot use it. When you wake the iPhone, stuttering goes away, and crystal clear audio (until sleep mode again, of course).
When WiFi is turned off (3G/Edge)... the stuttering is not an issue when the screen goes to sleep mode. Crystal clear audio at all times
It seems that calls are not affected, only music/podcasts/steaming audio is an issue with the 855/iPhone/WiFi.
I am on the edge of my seat for this one.
I heard someone complain that the unit doesn't default to mono music when one earpiece is disconnected. Thats a drag - as music is not designed to be listened to on side at a time. (what you want is true mono - ie BOTH sides summed to ONE speaker..) If you DO just listen to one side of stereo music you risk totally missing parts panned to the other side..
Anyhow that is all moot for me - as I want it for listening to spoken word podcasts - which will be fine - (even if I am only listening to the left channel) and driving (I wouldn't want both ears blocked)
But the stuttering comments above have me scared..
Apart from that Its seems the perfect product for my requirements..
Anyone else get it working fine?
Does anyone else have the same issue with this headset?
"I have one and am very pleased, since it’s multipoint it pairs with both iphone and mbp at the same time." - Daniel A. Johansson